The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 3, 2012

Seminars target women in ag

— Several events targeted to women in agriculture are being jointly planned by Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) this month.

Each conference will offer a variety of sessions, with topics ranging from insurance products to contracts and leases to marketing strategies. Participants will be engaged in improving skills to manage their business risks, said Damona Doye, OSU Cooperative Extension farm management specialist.

“The one-day conferences will provide the latest information on topics that empower women to solve issues and concerns of importance to them, their families and communities,” said Doye. “Each conference is tailored to agricultural interests in the local community.”

FSA speakers will be on hand to discuss a claims process for Hispanic and women farmers to settle discrimination charges. Eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers have a chance of receiving a piece of the minimum $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, set aside by the USDA for those who were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans from 1981 to 2000.

“The conferences are not only a good time to learn about the claims process, but to network with other participants and interact with conference experts.” said Jen Jensen, OSU Extension assistant, risk management education. “In addition, the events offer education on alternative agriculture production enterprises and USDA programs.”

All events are free and consist of a variety of topics targeted to local interests. The conferences will take place at different locations throughout the state, including:

• Nov. 14 — Beaver County Women in Ag Conference, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Beaver County Fairgrounds in Beaver. RSVP to Sandra Cooper at (580) 625-3464 or by email at by Wednesday.

• Nov. 16 — South Central Women in Ag Conference, 1-8 p.m., Murray County Fairgrounds in Sulphur. RSVP to Carl Oblander at (580) 662-3013 or by email at by Friday.

• Nov. 17 — 14th annual Small Farmers Conference, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hargrave Community Center in Wewoka. RSVP to Willard Tillman at (405) 201-6624 or by email at by Friday.

“These conferences are not just for women,” Jensen said. “Any producers or small business owners who are interested in the topics listed are encouraged to attend.”